The Viral President


If you ever had any doubt about the influence of online outlets on the news cycle, President Obama’s recent choice of interviews should put that to rest.  Here’s an interesting interview with the outgoing Senior Advisor in charge of White House Communications Dan Pfeiffer which lays out the strategy, which saw Obama talking to Buzzfeed, Vox and previously, Between Two Ferns:

After the midterm elections, the President instructed us to double down our efforts, to try to get more innovative and more aggressive. His view was you have this big battle when you think about how you’re going to communicate in the digital space, because authenticity is the coin of the realm in the digital space. But in politics, discipline is the coin of the realm. Sometimes there can be tension there. So we decided to take on additional risk. Buzzfeed is a perfect example of this. We knew that the Buzzfeed video would do very well with the Buzzfeed audience and with social media, but it would cause a lot of criticism from some pundits and media critics.

Here’s the video Obama made for Buzzfeed.

Indeed, the Washington Post hated it.  Here’s a recent Wapo listicle: Which image of Obama mugging for Buzzfeed’s camera diminishes the presidency most, ranked.  Really.

Reading for Tuesday

Reading: News in Your Pocket: Mobile-first journalism at WSJ (Sarah Marshall)

Tips on Mobile Journalism (Ariel)

Could the Surge in Mobile Destroy what’ s Best About the Internet? (E Wasserman)

Ferguson’s Citizen Journalists Revealed the Value of Undeniable Video (Guardian)

ASSIGNMENT: Write a blogpost on the innovative use of one type of technology that is transforming your beat.   This could be a new device for recording or broadcast (gopro, drones, optimus prime etc), or it could be a new type of wearable technology (smartclothes, fitbit etc) or some other innovation.  (for Mar 19 Thursday at 9am)

Photo projects are due in on May 19 Thursday as well.